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Archive for December, 2009

Hands-Free

Monday, December 28th, 2009

bluetooth

“Excuse me, Officer, but I’m on a very important phone call.”

Come January 1st the state of Oregon will join its sister to the south, California, in banishing the use of mobile phones for talking and texting while driving. The recent release from the EPD goes like this:

“HB2377 changes ORS 811.507 and specifically prohibits the use of “mobile communications devices” for talking or texting while driving unless the driver meets one of the specific exceptions. The main exceptions to the law are for drivers 18 years of age or over who are using a “hands free accessory,” drivers who are operating a vehicle in the scope of their employment and the vehicle is necessary for the person’s job, and for emergencies.”

Apparently the House isn’t a big fan of Mythbusters (or of common sense) or they’d know that the physical act of talking (holding the phone to your ear) is not the main cause of driver distraction during a phone call. Rather, the mental distraction – the act of talking – is the culprit. It should be noted that the ban on texting is probably more on point, seeing as how most people (except the “talented”) need to physically look at their phone while doing so.

What I am wondering is whether or not the House already knew this fact about cell phone usage in cars. Are they trying to placate enraged voters by passing “some” legislation, even if it doesn’t accurately address the “real” danger? Or are they actually so stupid they think that raising your arm above your waist while driving is too complicated for drivers?

Either way, the phone accessories station at Best Buy is about to get a whole lot busier.

Oh, and we’re all going to look like that guy.

I’ll Just Have Water, Thanks

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

simpsons

“Note to self: Stop. Doing. Anything.”

As a lover of all things “jerky” I find vegetarians and vegans impossibly difficult to understand. Lucky for me, there’s some sane people still out there who console my straying conscious back into the right.

In a particularly interesting article written a few days ago, science columnist Natalie Angier wrote about the viability of ethics-based veganism – a topic I’m sure we’re all familiar with given our own geographical location. In her article, Angier noted that vegans often argue the ethical way of consumption is choosing not to eat meat. In the opinion of Angier (and myself), the choice hits a few snags. Angier highlighted the more ridiculous points of the argument:

“Before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot.”

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The OC gets a little press

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The local paper in Salem, the Statesman Journal, has picked up a little blurb about the Oregon Commentator’s book By the Barrel: 25 Years of the Oregon Commentator.

It’s on their blog for now, and will probably appear in print in the next few weeks.

More duck rap

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Slightly hard to listen to..

New Fad?

Ohio State Posers

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

It’s been over a month since Supwitchu girl released there “I Love My Ducks” music video and in that time the video has been viewed nearly a million times on youtube. The campy hit became a fan favorite during Civil War pregame warmups and inspired babies everywhere to sing on camera.

With anything that becomes very popular Supwithchugirl was set top have a series of posers and parodies,  after all they did get famous on the internet. Well Oregon State came out with there MSpaint version of a rap video entitled “I Smell Roast Duck”, and now Ohio State proved that the only way to show school spirit is a rap video.

Here is Ohio State’s “Theres Only One O!” by a rap group calling themselves Sizzilini. The video is slightly better than Oregon State’s in the fact it looks better than a PowerPoint presentation. Does anyone think these rappers are trying to hard? I was a big fan of “I Love My Ducks” because it was silly and fun.  It promoted UO school spirit and did not try to put down other schools.  These other two videos are trying to be to “hyphy” and hardcore.

If your trying to dis UO in a rap video from now on can you at least make a video that has better prodcution quality than a Paris Hilton sex tape?

Decade of Debauchery

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

As this decade (the Twenty-oughts) comes to a close, the Commentator will inevitably examine the impact of several movements, from politics to pop culture, from the last ten years. In kind, much has happened over the last ten years to the Commentator itself, and I believe it to be important, dear readers, for you to learn about who we were at the turn of the century, if only to better understand who we are today.

Perfecting the Art

frohn dead

Just one month before the turn of the century, the Oregon Commentator was in some relative hot water over a front cover they had ran purporting then University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer to have died. Frohnmayer famously had a heart attack at a medical conference in Bethesda, Maryland but had escaped the ordeal relatively unharmed.

At the time, “Das Frohn” was rather upset about the cover, “Quite frankly, he was pissed off,” said then-OC editor Bill Beutler.

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Lock Your Doors

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

As students, I’m sure we’re all aware of the high rate of property crime that exists in Eugene. Apparently the EPD is now actively trying to do something about it. They’ve launched an initiative with some very original ideas, like policing the high-crime rate areas more. Here’s an outline of their model:

crimedata

My favorite part of the whole plan? That it mandates the EPD increase their presence in the University and Kinsrow areas, as they appear to be the highest concentrated areas of property crime:

crime

The plan, according to the press release, is based on this:

“The Crime Prevention Unit’s personnel have been re-staffed from a stationary model where they were available for public visits at front counters to one where they work in the field in those neighborhoods where crime is occurring.”

Now I’m not saying this will turn out badly for students for sure, but I am skeptical of the fact that Eugene wants to devote more city resources (officers) to a non-tax paying area they typically like to bleed of municipal support (hence why 18th street remains in shambles).

Further, I think anyone who has seen a crazy methhead/bum riding down the street on a different bicycle every day understands that property crime, at least in the University/Kinsrow area, is principally due to Eugene’s transient problem.

I’m thinking increased patrols in the University and Kinsrow areas will probably end up bringing in more MIPs than bike-stealing hobos. Then again, I could be wrong and we could all be a lot safer.

In any case, I’d lock your doors.

Like a Tiger Would

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

tiger

I’m sure we’re all aware of the situation involving Tiger Woods by now. His car wreck, admission of “infidelity” and his mother-in-law’s trip to the hospital have been  front page news – and not just in the tabloids.

But the thing I’ve been wondering throughout all of this is the connection between athletes and those who enjoy watching their endeavors. Surely, we can all relate to the feeling of elation watching our own football team rise to the top of the Pac-10 this year. Similarly, I’ve noticed fans of Tiger have taken the golfer’s rough patch just as badly.

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Look what you’re missing

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

nazistuff

I’m not even sure what to do with this one… the upper line reads “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media…”

In compliance with that statement, I’ve blacked out the date and time for this event.

You’re welcome.

Lest We Forget…

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Sometimes, living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s easy to forget just how loathsome and malignant hipsters are. They are, after all, nearly as ubiquitous as such similarly squishy and useless northwest fixtures as “fog” and “moss” [Fog is not squishy. -ed], not to mention their close namesakes, hippies. We observe with embarrassed disgust these irritating, unimaginative raiders-of-long-dead-pop-culture pedaling around town on their fixed-gear bicycles, frequently sporting absurd facial hair and 1980’s garb — though neon-colored early-1990’s clothing has in recent years begun to creep into “fashion”.

But lest we forget how miserable and, ultimately, brainless and malevolent hipsterism is, one need only take a glance at the sorts of antics International Hipsterdom routinely engages in, specifically the marketing of designer jeans produced in such transgressive, counter-culture places like North Korea. According to the Swedish hipster at the center of all of this:

The idea for the project was born out of curiosity for North Korea, which has grown increasingly isolated in recent years under Western criticism of its human rights record and nuclear ambitions. “The reason we did this was to come closer to a country that was very difficult to get into contact with.” [emphasis added… also, die a painful death of syphilis, or something, you putrid sore]

Frankly, I agree. Damn the West for “isolating” North Korea by “criticizing” its human rights record. I guess when you’ve had the collapse of Enron happen on your soil, you’ve got no place pointing fingers at all those gulags. After all, it isn’t as if North Korea hasn’t walled itself off from the rest of the world since the 1950’s. Then again, no one ever accused hipsters of having any sense of history — unless you’re talking about what sorts of clothes were trendy from about 1978 until sometime in the 1990’s, that is.

Thankfully, it seems like non-hipster factions in Swedish society have come to their senses, refusing to allow shelf-space to so-called “NOKO” branded designer clothes (if you didn’t hate hipsters before, just take a look at the wastes of sperm pictured in the BBC report). At least one of the founders of “NOKO Jeans” admits that North Korea “sometimes treats its citizens terribly.” Huh. You don’t say. Well, it’s a good thing, then, that a gaggle of well-intentioned young lads decided to give it the good old college try and did what they could to fix the situation by… err… peddling North Korean-made clothing at exorbitant prices in Swedish luxury boutiques (the jeans were reputedly slated to be sold for $215). I’m sure that they really would’ve made a difference if the forces of international capital hadn’t forced their wares off the shelves.

The game’s just so loaded, you know?

At any rate, the next time you see some hipster galavanting around campus, cocksure in his faux-Mercury mustache or her unconvincing “nerd-girl” attire, just remember to ask that person if they’d buy the latest, hippest “NOKO” jeans if given the chance. At the very least, it’ll make them feel uncomfortable, defensive, and most importantly, unfashionable. What’s certain is that the those of us who don’t necessarily mind being used as marionettes by the forces of international capital need to take every advantage over this vile sub-species that we can afford, even if it means making them feel that they’re not decked out in the most transgressive and “avant” of duds.

Because that’s the real crime.

Journalistic Failure

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

The original publisher of the Oregon Commentator, Dane Claussen, once said that the OC’s purpose was to print the news that, “the other publications are unable to tell you because of inexperience, incompetence or the narrow-mindedness of their staffs.” That was some 26 years ago and it seems the OC still has purpose. Not to continue to toot our own horn or anything but, as any regular reader of the blog knows (because we’ve been pimping it hard), the OC has recently published a 25th anniversary book edited by the current publisher Timothy Dane Carbaugh.

Call me crazy, but it seems to me students creating, printing and selling a 300-page hard bound history book completely on their own volition about a student organization that’s survived significant adversity for more than 25 years would be a newsworthy event. Which is why I am glad to finally announce that, now just about a month after the book was released, the Daily Emerald has gotten around to publishing a story.

You’d think that this would be the sort of thing that would hit the front page of any daily student newspaper, but here at the University of Oregon you’d be wrong. Instead, the story was buried deep in the “scene” insert. I would link to the article, but it is suspiciously absent from their online content. Luckily for them, we’ve published the article here.

I wonder if ol’ Mr. Claussen would chock this up to simple narrow-mindedness or gross incompetence? I can’t say, but you take a look at this editorial cartoon about Sarah Palin’s book recently published by the Emerald and you will probably agree that it is a real chicken shit outfit over there.

Going ROUGE

Do not ridicule someone’s “intellectual substance” if you are going to screw up the spelling of “rogue”.

OC on TV Part 2

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Apparently you can embed this file. Oops.

Guitar Hero

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

REO

Virtua-REO

There was an article in today’s New York Times that detailed a new video game REO Speedwagon released today titled REO Speedwagon: Find Your Own Way Home. The article has its ridiculous moments, my favorite was this:

“I remember the first time I saw a pinball machine with Kiss,” [REO Speedwagon’s manager] added. “This is a 21st-century version.”

The game wouldn’t sound so ridiculous if the screenshot given with the article didn’t look like my grandmother’s bridge club had been painted into a Thomas Kincaid print.

Personally I’m just waiting for a GG Allin-themed video game. I can see it now: Murder Junkies

A button to shoot up herion

B button to smash your head with a bottle

X button to defecate in your hand

Y button to throw

gg_allin_video

ASUO Senate. They don’t have to be here. They want to be here.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

New Button to Purchase “By the Barrel”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

bythebarrel

We just added a new button (look to your right) underneath the “Current Issue” button that you can click and be able to purchase a copy of our book By the Barrel: 25 Years of the Oregon Commentator.

Clicking the button takes you to another page that has a short description of the book as well as a picture of the cover and a list of chapters. At the beginning and end of the page there is a link that allows you to purchase a copy of the book with your credit/debit card or with PayPal.

You can also click this link and it will take you to the same place.

For just $10 you get a book that’s hardbound, has a dust jacket and has 24-pages of glossy color in the middle. Increase your money’s utility this holiday season by giving it to us.